Setup A Virtual Linux Box (Ubuntu Server) With Oracle VM VirtualBox Part 1

Install Oracle’s VM VirtualBox

This is a walk through to setup a Linux box (Ubuntu) on a windows desktop with Oracle VM VirtualBox.  For this setup, a windows 7 64 bit OS is used.

Start by going to Oracle’s VirtualBox website and downloading the appropriate install for your OS.

Oracle VirtualBox
Oracle’s VirtualBox Website

Once you have downloaded the file, install the application accepting all the defaults.  You should have a new icon show up in your window’s program list that looks like this:

Open the application, you should be in the Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager app.  The Top tool bar looks like this:

Setup a New VM

From the toolbar click on New.  The following screen will appear:

Name the new machine an appropriate name.  I have named mine UbuntuServer.  Next, choose Linux from the type drop-down.

I have chosen to use Ubuntu(32-bit) for my install.  Some of the applications I plan to use may work better under 32-bit.  This is an optional call, but the setup will assume 32-bit is chosen.

Next, click “Expert Mode” and arrive at this screen.  The configuration may look different depending on your computer’s setup.

I chose 8 GIG for Memory size and opted to create a virtual hard disk now.  Click create and the next window is:

I chose VDI (VirtualBox Disk Image) with fixed size.   Click create and wait for the new VM to be created.  Once it is finished you should see a new server in your list on the left-hand side of the Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager window. As shown below:

I have two shown in my window, the first is from a previous Ubuntu setup.

Configure the New VM Memory and CPU

It is time now to configure your new VM.  If you have more than one core you can take advantage of them by clicking on the system box:

Arriving at this dialog box:

From this screen select the Enable I/O APIC option.  This is OPTIONAL and will not affect the setup if you choose not to use it.  My setup benefits from it and I chose to use it.  VirtualBox documentation shows the following information:

Click the Processor tab and view the processor setup:

I chose 5 processors, which are cores and placed an execution cap of 100%.  Your configuration will most likely be different.  Be sure not to use all of your processors for the virtual machine.  If your system has more than one core and your selection only allows one core, be sure to check your motherboard’s documentation.  It may have hyper support turned off or not available.  If so, one processor is all you will be able to configure.

Configure the Storage and Optical Disk 

Now, move to the storage and optical disk setup.  Click the storage tab on the left-hand side and see the following screen:

Under the optical drive (where it says empty), click and point to your iso file for Ubuntu.  If you have not already downloaded the iso file, you should do that now and save it to a location on your computer.  Then, point the optical drive to that file location.  You point the optical drive to that file by clicking on the disk icon beside the Optical Drive under Attributes.  From the drop-down list select “Choose Virtual Optical Disk file” and locate and select your Ubuntu installation iso file.

Secondly, I suggest adding a second optical drive by clicking the plus sign beside the Controller: IDE (You must first click the Controller: IDE, then the icon to add an optical disk will appear).  Next, point the newly created drive to a file called  vBoxGuestAdditions.iso.  It comes with Oracle’s VM and should be located in the Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox directory.  In the end, your storage screen should look something like this:

Network Configuration

The last step in part 1 is to setup the network so you can connect to it.  I have chosen to use my wireless network on the host machine (The computer you are setting up the VM on).  Click the Network tab and see the following screen:

In the attached to selection pick Birdged Adapter, the name selection should auto fill with selections available from your system.  Choose the appropriate wireless connection.  Click advanced and change Promiscuous Mode to Allow All.  The screen should look similar to this:

At this point, the VM is configured.  In part 2 the OS will be installed.